Factors that influence a baby’s weight gain

Postnatal

In order to learn more about weight gain in newborns, go to the previous entry Weight Gain in Newborns.

There are many factors that influence weight gain in newborn, and the following entry will explain them to you.

The factors are the following:

  • Premature birth (immaturity, difficult reflex for drinking and sucking, etc.);
  • A low weight baby at birth (late growth, lower level drinking, less available energy);
  • Difficult breastfeeding (difficult sucking, low breastmilk flow, drowsiness, weak sucking);
  • Baby’s physical conditions (short frenulum, reflux, congenital illnesses, heart problems, neurological dysfunctions, etc.)

That said, often we may not really know the causal source of slow weight gain.

Factors with a breastfeeding mother that affects weight gain

If there are no identifiable physical causes in the baby to explain slow weight gain, you need to look at issues that might deal with the mother and the delivery. Was there medication or not? Difficulty delivery? Stress? And in managing breastfeeding?

  • Insufficient breastmilk production;
  • Thyroid gland problems (hypothyroidism influences a lowering of breastmilk productions after birth);
  • Breast insufficiency or reduction (less glandular matter to produce milk and surgery may have severed the nerve endings required to stimulate milk production);
  • Loss of a lot of blood during delivery (less body liquids available for the production of milk);
  • Severe diet of under 1500 calories/day;
  • Delivery complications such as pre-eclampsia;
  • Premature birth (increased stress in the mother and possible placenta retention);
  • Use of medications or drugs that can influence milk production, such as certain oral contraceptives for example;
  • We know that high and recurring stress can diminish the ejection reflex and can be the source of a milk production or slow flow problem in the mother;
  • Weak or absent ejection reflex.

You should understand that a professional must first understand the basic problem surrounding the difficulty in weight gain to plan their strategy. The cause must be dealt with to improve the situation. Suggestions will be made based on the elements that are present and on which we can act, both for the mother and baby.

If slow weight gain seems to be associated with the insufficient production of breastmilk or attributable to a slow milk flow in the baby’s mouth, a series of measures can be taken to correct the situation. I have mentioned some in my entry on Insufficient or Lack of Breastmilk.

If you would like to learn more about premature babies and their weight, please consult the following entry Weight Gain in a Premature Baby.

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Factors that influence a baby’s weight gain

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